Friday, September 24, 2021

MA State Senate Passes Healthy Youth, Gender ID and Student Nutrition Bills

The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday passed three bills that would provide students with age-appropriate, medically accurate and inclusive sex education; allow a non-binary option other than male or female on birth certificates and drivers licenses; and ensure that more children in Massachusetts have access to nutritious school meals. These bills all provide essential building blocks to ensuring a safe, healthy, inclusive and resilient Commonwealth.
“Government works best when it fosters opportunities for education and wellbeing without dictating how people live their lives,” stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “The bills advanced by the Senate today build on our previous work to fight student hunger, require medically-accurate sex education and allow people to be who they are. I’m particularly proud to once again advance the Senate’s Gender ID bill, a longstanding priority of mine, while giving our students tools to learn, grow and thrive.”
“The bills passed by the Senate today reflect our priorities by supporting our students, families, and the most vulnerable among us,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Thank you to Senate President Spilka for her leadership and to all my colleagues in the Senate for their efforts to make a more equitable Commonwealth.”
Senate Bill 2534, An Act to healthy youth, would ensure that Massachusetts schools electing to provide their students with sex education use age-appropriate and medically accurate curriculum that covers a comprehensive and inclusive range of topics.
“I am very proud that the Massachusetts Senate has once again reaffirmed our commitment to this commonsense healthy policy that will ensure our youth have the tools needed to protect their health and form respectful relationships,” stated Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett), the Senate sponsor of the bill. “This legislation makes it clear that sex education in the Commonwealth must be inclusive for all students and emphasize the importance and necessity of consent. I would like to thank and congratulate the many advocates who have partnered with us on this legislation and worked tirelessly to ensure Massachusetts youth have the information they need to build the bright futures they deserve— without shame or judgement.”
Currently, when Massachusetts public schools provide their students with health education that covers sexual activity, there is no way to ensure that students are being taught research-informed and comprehensive curricula. Schools are still able to utilize abstinence-only or abstinence-centered programming, as well as curricula that excludes important information for LGBTQ+ youth and critical lessons on consent.
Senate Bill 2534 changes this by requiring school districts that offer sex education to follow certain guidelines to ensure students are provided with age-appropriate, medically accurate, and comprehensive information, including: the benefits of delaying sex; effective contraceptive use; prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs); healthy relationship and communication skills; consent; and gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would also be required review and update the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework to be consistent with the provisions outlined in this legislation. The most recent Massachusetts Health Curriculum Framework is dated October 10, 1999. To ensure that the framework is periodically updated, DESE would also be required to review the framework at least every ten years. 
This legislation does not require schools to offer sex education and also protects parents’ right to remove their children from all or part of sex education if they choose to do so—an action protected by state law. In addition, it provides districts that teach sex education curriculum with updated guidance on how to notify parents about these programs.
Senate Bill 2282, An Act relative to gender identity on Massachusetts identification, would provide for a non-binary option other than male or female on birth certificates and drivers licenses. The bill also directs the state to begin the process of allowing a non-binary option for all state forms and instances where a gender choice is required.
“People know what gender they are,” said Senator Jo Comerford (D- Northampton), the Senate sponsor of the bill. “This bill simply allows for gender identification and IDs as diverse as our people. I am deeply grateful to Senate President Spilka for leading on this issue for many years, and for all of the courageous and powerful advocates who have urged us forward.”
Under the bill, the gender on birth records could be changed by an adult, an emancipated minor, or the parent or guardian of a minor. The gender designations on a birth record could include “female”, “male” or “X”—which indicates that the person is another gender or an undesignated gender. No documentation beyond a self-attestation is required to make a change.
Senate Bill 2282 also enables those who change the gender on their birth certificate to change the name on their birth certificate if they have already gone through the legal name change process. The bill provides three years to change the name on the birth certificate after the gender has been changed, or until the age of 21 for those who changed their gender designation before the age of 18.
Senate Bill 298, An Act to promote student nutrition, would ensure that more children in Massachusetts have access to nutritious school meals. It requires schools and districts where a majority of students are low-income to enroll in federal programs—known as the Community Eligibility Provision and Provision 2—that allow them to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students. In addition to providing universal meals, these programs reduce administrative burdens for schools.
“Children should not be going hungry in Massachusetts, and their schools should not penalize them for their family’s poverty,” said Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), the Senate sponsor of the bill. “This legislation establishes a statewide policy that supports not only food insecure children and their families, but also schools and districts. By passing it today, the Senate has voted to reduce childhood hunger and end the practice of food shaming in the Commonwealth.”
The legislation minimizes families’ meal debt by requiring school districts to maximize federal revenues and directing the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to assist them in doing so. When students do accrue debt, it requires school districts to determine whether they are eligible for free- or reduced-price meals.  
Finally, An Act to promote student nutrition prohibits schools from targeting students who carry meal-related debt with punitive practices such as withholding report cards and transcripts, preventing students from graduating or walking at graduation, barring students from participating in no-fee extracurricular events like field trips, or throwing a child’s hot meal away and replacing it with an inferior meal.
All three bills now go to the House of Representatives for further action. 

Franklin, MA: Police social media accounts to follow

"We invite everyone to follow the Franklin Police Department on our many social media platforms. It’s our goal to provide you with real-time incident updates, community updates, and insight into the great work our officers do day in and day out!"

Franklin, MA: Police social media accounts to follow
Franklin, MA: Police social media accounts to follow

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Franklin Public Schools, MA: Test and Stay consent forms

Franklin Public Schools, MA (@FranklinPSNews) tweeted on Thu, Sep 23, 2021:
"Reminder that Test and Stay consent forms are available to FPS students, faculty and staff here:"
Shared from Twitter ->

Franklin Public Schools, MA:  Test and Stay consent forms
Franklin Public Schools, MA:  Test and Stay consent forms

Franklin's Complete Streets feedback sought, info promised

Quick Recap:
  • The Complete Streets policy was approved by the Town Council earlier this year as a guiding principal for consideration in road construction or renovations. It is a good thing to do.
  • The meeting Wednesday was to solicit feedback on a listing of projects that was only available to those who were in person at the meeting to receive the handout. This was shortsighted. The info was promised to be posted to the Town web page Thursday. It could have been done in advance to enable appropriate feedback.
  • The listing is preliminary. It will be prioritized and submitted to the State to seek funding for such projects.
  • This posting will be updated with the Complete Streets project info when it is posted to the Town page as promised.
Town of Franklin Complete Streets page ->


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting live via the Zoom conference bridge.


The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #cs0922  

Complete Streets meeting agenda:

Presentation doc from February 2021 ->


Map in Chamber with stickies on it indicating community input
Map in Chamber with stickies on it indicating community input

  • Complete streets meeting begins, live reporting underway via the Zoom session #cs0922 
  • DPW Director Cantoreggi and Town Engineer M Maglio leading session on complete streets after opening by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen #cs0922
  • Map in Chamber with stickies on it indicating community input. Looking to summarize the plan for submission to State and hopefully will be generate some funding for the projects #cs0922
  • Asked for info on priority projects, to be posted to town page Thursday. Also took time to provide feedback on sight lines (actually purview of building commissioner Gus Brown), issue of utility poles blocking sidewalk access, (a constant fight by Town with utilities) #cs0922
  • Also added question on overhang of bushes or trees on sidewalk that hinders a tall walker (like me). Send Brutus an email as I encounter those as they come under his tree warden role. #cs0922
  • Meeting adjourns after no other questions or comments #cs0922


Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days

Town Council Candidate Jane Callaway-Tripp responds to questions

For the following you can read FM = Steve Sherlock and J C-T as Jane Callaway-Tripp, candidate for Town Council. The answers were provided by Jane via email in response to the offer made to all the candidates for the Franklin Election Nov 2, 2021. 

Publication of the answers or interview responses does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate nor an attestation that the statements are true. This is my public service effort to enable informed voters for the election Nov 2, 2021.

FM - Briefly, what is your “Franklin Story” tell us Briefly about your life here.

J  C-T -  Hello. I was born and raised in Franklin. I graduated from Tri- County High school. Growing up here in Franklin was a great experience and gave me the sense of home. I saw my parents involved in the elks and the Franklin soccer program. My mother was on the Street Lighting Committee and then she sat on Town Council.  These experiences and watching the care my parents had for the town and the residents showed me that community is very important. This is why I am now running for Council. It is time for me to be able to give back to the community, the town, and ALL the residents.

FM - Participating in elections is one of the key Freedoms of American life and voting is one of the primary responsibilities of citizens. While the law does not require citizens to vote, voting is a very important part of any democracy. What can you tell us about your own voting record? And if you have been not been an active voter, please tell us why? And how important is it that we elect people who are active participants in the election process?

J  C-T -  I have been voting since I was 18. Although I have not always been able to vote at every local election due to personal reasons, I do vote every 4 years. I believe that voting is important. It is a way to make sure our voices are heard. Though being an active voter is not a requirement to run for town boards/ committees or council, I do believe that you should be an active voter if and when you are representing the people in the town. It is hard to convince people to get out and vote when the people running are not following the same advice. Though there is no wrong time to become an active voter. 

FM - Have you been Vaccinated for Covid-19? DO you think there should be a mask mandate in Franklin? Finally, what measures should the government take to protect the public from the virus, and how should these efforts be delineated between the Local, State, and Federal governments?

J  C-T -  My vaccination status as everyone else is our personal and private information. It is a violation of our constitutional rights to ask and require an answer.  Our vaccination status has no bearing on how I will or any candidate will effectively work on council. This is a town election. How I feel our government should or should not handle Covid-19 also has no bearing on the town election or how I would perform as a council person.  If at the State and Federal level they choose to mandate or not to mandate, as a council person I would have to follow the protocols put in place. We at the local level do not create laws or mandates; therefore, this question is not a valid question to determine how one would be effective in the seat they are running to obtain.

FM - What are the 3 most important actions you believe are needed to move Franklin Forward?

J  C-T -  First and foremost, as a Council we need to get all residents more involved in what’s going on. We need to encourage them to speak out and we need to listen to them, their concerns, their opinions and their ideas. Anything we do in this town effects the residents. They fund this town and they alone are the ones that will make this town successful. All residents need to know that they matter.

Second, we need to find a way to bring current residents downtown. We need to find a way to give them shops they want to shop at on a regular basis while keeping our town like the home town that drew people here or kept them here in the first place. We have done a few different studies over the years and some were not even followed after the fact. Nothing has been done that has brought success and I feel that is because the council has been more concerned about getting more people into the town then focusing on the 30+ thousand who already call Franklin home. 

Finally, supporting our first responders is also key. With the growing population and the geographical layout of the town, it is important to make sure they have what they need.  We are a safe town and for that I am grateful; however, crime can and will grow if our police officers are stretched too thin. We have had several fires lately and our fire department, EMTs are working wonderfully in responding. If they do not have what they need; however, lives will be lost. 

FM - What experience or background will help you serve in this role? Or what do you bring to the table that helps to set you apart from the others?

J  C-T -  What I bring to the table is that I listen, I hear what people are saying, and I will stand up for what is right no matter what. It is great to be friends as a council, but when you walk through the doors of the council chambers friendship is not what counts. As sworn council members, we will be sworn to do a job and that is the only thing that counts. I believe every resident of this town matter and deserves to be represented. I will bring back accountability. I will bring back the residents’ voice. I will uphold exactly what I would be sworn to do. I love this town and I care about every person in this town.

FM - The Town Council approves the Annual budget which sets the priorities for how Franklin operates. How do you see the financial priorities we should address? How do you explain to the voters and residents why you would vote that way?

J  C-T -  I would have to look at the proposed budget that was put in front of me. Then I would look and see where the needless spending is being done. I feel that we have a lot of things that need to be taken care of that have not been for some time. The town continues to raise taxes and fees yet things are still not getting done. There are roads that need sidewalks, there are areas that need stop lights or stop signs, roads that need repair and we have a school system that needs to be funded. There is no one answer here. 

As for how to explain to the voters and residents, well my hope is that they will be involved and share what they feel and think needs to be done. I understand that sometimes decisions are made and not all residents will be happy with it; however, if as a council we actually take into consideration the residents and how we spend their tax dollars, it can go a long way. Not every resident will be happy 100% of the time, but right now I feel the majority of the residents are unhappy 100% of the time. Let’s not forget it is the residents who fund the town of Franklin, and yes as a town we do get some grants, but grants are federal/state TAX dollars so as taxpayers it is all our money being spent.


Candidate Jane Callaway-Tripp responds to questions
Candidate Jane Callaway-Tripp responds to questions

FHS girls soccer post a win, boys soccer finished with a tie vs. North Attleboro on Wednesday

Via @HockomockSports  and Twitter we share the results of the FHS fall sports action on Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021 

Boys Soccer = Franklin, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final 
– North Attleboro took the lead in the first half but Franklin leveled the match early in the second half and the two teams split the points. North struck first in the 12th minute as Patrick McDermott finished off a cross. Givany Carney sent in the pass and Connor Ward made a nice run to draw the defender and dummied it to free McDermott for an open look. Franklin pulled level less than two minutes into the second half when Will Krysak scored on a cross from Jack Moran.

Girls Soccer = North Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final 
– Anya Zub continued to be on fire in front of goal for the Panthers. After scoring four times on Monday, Zub added a brace to help Franklin beat North and stay a point back of KP in the Kelley-Rex standings. Riley Fitzpatrick opened the scoring off an assist from Avery Greco, who moved into a new position and had a strong game. Steph McKenna tied the game in the 48th minute for North, scoring off a Caroline Ferrin assist. Bridget Leo’s through ball to Fitzpatrick led to Franklin’s second goal, finished off by Zub. Fiztpatrick added her second assist, and third point of the afternoon, to set up Zub for the third Franklin goal that sealed the two points. Chloe Barca, Stella Regan, and Leo played well in midfield for the Panthers and Norah Anderson controlled the back line. North had other chances in the first half, with Charlotte Moynihan and Casey Butanowicz both striking the woodwork. Victoria Donnelley, Abby Pratt, and Lily Adams each had great games in the loss.

Golf = Franklin, 160 @ Oliver Ames, 139 – Final 
– OA senior Jo Jo Gaultier birdied the first two holes and added another on seven while sophomore Sean Kearns also had three birdies as the Tigers had one of the best performances by any team this season in a win at Pine Oaks over visiting Franklin. Kearns had birdies on two, five, and eight while Gaultier’s third birdie of the day came on seven. Both finished with a two-under 32 to share medalist honors. Senior Carter Allbritton added a 37 and classmate Jake Kaplan shot a 38. Sophomore Anthony Lampasona had a low-round of 39 for the Panthers.
"Final score: 139- 160 Oliver Ames wins
They played a great round carding 2 at -2
lampasona: 39

FHS girls soccer post a win, boys soccer finished with a tie vs. North Attleboro on Wednesday
FHS girls soccer post a win, boys soccer finished with a tie vs. North Attleboro on Wednesday

Franklin Community/FYSA NIGHT - Sep 24, 6:00 PM

"CALLING ALL Family, Friends, Players, Soccer Fans, and Franklin Community! 

Come out to support your Franklin High Girls Varsity Soccer Team! Join us for Franklin Community/FYSA NIGHT this coming Friday - September 24 @ 6:00 PM at Franklin High School – Pisini Stadium.  

Come take a seat in the stands and cheer on your Franklin High Varsity Girls Soccer Team!   It’s GAME TIME and watch as our Panthers take on the Mansfield Hornets in what is expected to be an exciting matchup between these two teams.  Friday night under the lights – join us and make some noise!  "

Shared from Facebook:

Cornhole Tournament scheduled for Oct 17, 2021

On October 17, 2021, the public is invited to join the Franklin Odd Fellows for an afternoon of fun and good cheer from 2 to 7:00 PM at the Bellingham Sportsman Club at 360 Lake St., Bellingham, MA 02019.

The event will consist of teams of two players each with a registration cost of just $20 per person. Team pre-registration and pre-payment is encouraged, but not necessary to be able to participate.

After a difficult year in 2020 where all of our fundraising events were canceled due to COVID-19, William F. Ray Lodge #71 has remained active and continues with the renovation process of the building and with our annual donations to local and national charities.

This will be our 2nd social event for this year that will help us to continue the longstanding tradition of giving back to our local community - and have a good time while doing it! Our Charity will be the Massachusetts Arthritis Foundation, and it is noteworthy that Massachusetts Odd Fellows give more to the national foundation than any other state in the country.

Get your teams together and register today. Teams registering at the door on the day of the tournament will be integrated into event as long as there is space and boards available. The Sportsman Club will provide a cash bar for refreshments and a wide screen TV for the sporting fans that wish to keep abreast of the Sox and Patriots. The Odd Fellows will provide a light dinner of burgers & dogs at 3:30 PM from the grill. Many thanks to the Sportsman Club for the use of their facility for this event.

Register and prepay: 

Download copy of flyer as a reminder:

Cornhole Tournament scheduled for Oct 17, 2021
Cornhole Tournament scheduled for Oct 17, 2021

FM #609 - Community Preservation Committee Meeting - 09/21/21 (audio)

FM #609 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 609 in the series. 

This shares the Community Preservation Committee meeting that was held on Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid mode; committee members present were in the Council Chambers, along with some public participants and the Town Administration staff. Others were able to via the Zoom conference bridge. 

Links to the meeting agenda and my notes are in the show notes. The meeting recording runs about fifty minutes (~50 mins).  Let’s listen to the Community Preservation Committee  meeting for Sep 21

** Audio file ->


Meeting agenda  (including connection info) -> 

My notes captured via Twitter and shared here in summary form 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.


How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.


For additional information, please visit

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


Questions on housing being answered by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen
Questions on housing being answered by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen

4th Annual Car Show - Sunday, Sep 26, 2021

The Rotary Club of Franklin MA is preparing for our 4th Annual Car Show, on Sept 26, 2021 at Dean College Campus Center. Auto Entry is $15 and Spectators can enter for FREE.

There will be music and plenty of different cars and trucks to see. Fun for the entire family.

Car show flyer ->

Rotary Club of Franklin MA - Car Show - Sunday 9-26-21
Rotary Club of Franklin MA - Car Show - Sunday 9-26-21

MA Public Health reminds us to practice self-care and support your mental health; Boston announces pilot program

"It's more important than ever to practice self-care and support your mental health. Relax, stay socially connected at a safe distance, and take a deep breath. 
If you're in a crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. #StopSuicide"

Shared from Twitter:

Mass. Public Health reminds us to practice self-care and support your mental health
Mass. Public Health reminds us to practice self-care and support your mental health

Franklin participates in a grant program with Medway to implement this support for 911 calls and now Boston is starting a pilot program.
"Amid a nationwide push to rethink policing strategies and reduce the use of force when possible, a new Boston program seeks to scale back police involvement in 911 mental-health calls.

Last month, Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced a pilot program encouraging greater use of mental-health workers, EMTs and trained community members during 911 mental health calls. In a city that received 10,000 such calls last year, officials are seeking to de-escalate fragile mental-health interactions while easing the strain on police resources.

“This mental-health response will help us evaluate how to deliver the best possible response for our residents when they are in crisis,” Janey said during an Aug. 5 press conference. “These investments will help connect residents and their families with the care they need. They will also help us send officers to where they are needed most.”

Franklin Police in its Annual Report section for 2020 touted the program

Franklin Cultural Council Grant Funding Opens for 2022

View this email in your browser

It's grant season again! The FCC is accepting applications now through October 15th, 2021.

Please apply here:

Funding available for projects and events in the arts, humanities and sciences! All programming must benefit the community of Franklin, MA. Grant proposals should also include a letter of commitment from the venue (i.e. a letter from the Franklin Public Library stating they have spoken to you and agree to host you on XXX date). 

We are looking forward to reading your proposals! Please email us with questions if needed! 

Kaye Kelly

Copyright © 2021 Franklin Cultural Council, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Franklin Cultural Council
355 East Central Street
Franklin, Ma 02038

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp

Franklin United Methodist: Trunk or treat - Oct 30, 4 - 6 PM

"Franklin UMC is hosting a trunk or treat again this year.  Mark your calendars for October 30 from 4-6 m!  This is an outdoor event.
If you or your business or organization would like to decorate a trunk and handout candy, please message the church or call the church office (508-528-1092)."

Follow the event on Facebook ->

Franklin United Methodist: Trunk or treat - Oct 30, 4 - 6 PM
Franklin United Methodist: Trunk or treat - Oct 30, 4 - 6 PM

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Franklin Turkey Trot - Nov 25, 2021 - Registration is Open

The 10th Annual Franklin Turkey Trot registration is OPEN! 

Please visit for race information and registration. 

Free t-shirts to the first 100 to register.  Also, please let us know if you are interested in being a race sponsor.


Krystal Whitmore
Race Director

Franklin Matter is proud to help sponsor this event 

Franklin Turkey Trot - Nov 25, 2021 - Registration is Open
Franklin Turkey Trot - Nov 25, 2021 - Registration is Open

Recap: Community Preservation Committee - historical tour scheduled, housing and zoning discussed

Quick Recap:
  • Tour of Red Brick and Historical Museum scheduled for Sep 29, Oct 1, formal agenda with details to be published soon to cover open meeting requirements
  • Update on 215 Prospect St with appraisal by town provided to owner/developer this week. They may accept or choose a 2nd view
  • Amy Love, Town Planner, provides update on housing plan as shared in this past summer's meeting
  • After roundabout discussion on zoning and development and affordable as a component of, meeting adjourns
As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting live via the Zoom conference bridge.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #cpc0921  
Agenda doc (including connection info) -> 
Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days

Questions on housing being answered by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen
Questions on housing being answered by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen